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Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency

What is the Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency Program?

Program Mission

The mission of Lee Health Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency Program is to provide physical therapists with a comprehensive, well-rounded educational and clinical experience that will integrate clinical decision-making skills, evidence based practice, and advanced diagnostic skills in orthopedic physical therapy that represents a commitment to clinical excellence in quality, satisfaction, safety and compassionate care.

Program Goals

Goal 1: The residency program supports the mission of the supporting organization and rehabilitation department.

Goal 2: The residency program maintains ABPTRFE accreditation.

Goal 3: Provide residents with high quality, consistent experience at all clinic locations.

Goal 4: Residency Program is sustainable.

Goal 5: Residents demonstrate proficiency in knowledge and skill required for specialist orthopedic clinical practice.

Goal 6: Prepare residents to contribute to the profession of physical therapy, and the larger healthcare community, through leadership, evidence-based practice, teaching, and service.

Program Specifics

The residency combines didactic work with clinical work, to encourage the development of advanced levels of clinical reasoning, diagnostic skills, scientific knowledge, leadership, communication and patient management. The residency is designed to develop orthopedic physical therapists with a diverse patient population and a variety of educational settings.

Clinical work hours are in Lee Health’s outpatient settings with a rotation to 3 locations.

  • Outpatient Center at Creekside, 12670 Creekside Lane, Stonegate Bank Building Ft Myers, FL 33919
  • Outpatient Center at HP Commons, 16281 Bass Rd, suite 200 Ft Myers, FL 33908
  • Outpatient Center at Riverwalk, 8350 Riverwalk Park Blvd., Suite 3, Fort Myers, Florida 33919

The mentorship of each resident involves intensive training and supportive guidance to create the best overall experience. The mentors guide the learning process through modeling, questioning and feedback.

The didactic curriculum will be based on the DRP of ABPTRFE.

Residents are hired as salaried, full-time employees but divide their time among clinical work within the 3 designated sites. Residents typically spend 50-55 hours per week working, in clinical experiences, teaching, mentorship or studying.

Program Outcomes:

  • Graduation rate – 100%
  • ABPTS Orthopedic Specialty Exam pass rate – 100%
  • Case Report:  Presentation 2

What do I need to know before applying?

Admissions Requirements

All candidates for the Physical Therapy Orthopedic Residency program must be eligible for physical therapy licensure in the state of Florida and have attained FL licensure prior to beginning the residency program. Ideal applicants will have experience in orthopedics (through work or student internships), superior written and verbal communication skills, evidence of leadership skills, and a desire to improve and learn.

Candidates need three letters of recommendation:

  • One academic
  • Two clinical


APTA members, who are eligible for Physical Therapy licensure in the state of Florida and have graduated from a CAPTE accredited physical therapist education program, are eligible to apply for this residency program. Deadline for applications is May 31st. Resident will begin employment on September 1st. The program runs for 13 months beginning October 1st. 

Applications are on our Job Listing page.

Contact Us

For additional information please contact Diana Rippl, MSPT:

Diana Rippl, MSPT

Residency Program Director

Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Karl Gilliam, PT, DPT

Residency Program Coordinator

Board Certified Specialist in Orthopedic Physical Therapy

Board Certified Specialist in Geriatric Physical Therapy

Certified Hand Therapist

Resident Spotlight: Justin Mincy

Originally from Greenville, South Carolina, Justin completed his undergraduate degree in Health Sciences from Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC and his Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from Bradley University in Peoria, Illinois.  Justin’s philosophy is to take the patient beyond treatment for the physical and physiological impairment and damage of orthopedic injuries to incorporate fitness and wellness concepts.  Justin believes “orthopedic physical therapy has something to offer nearly every individual at some point in their life”, and is passionate about providing his patients the confidence and hope to attain lifelong general fitness and health following orthopedic physical therapy.  His goal throughout his residency is to become a resource for fellow professionals.

Learn more about our physical therapy residency program

Hear first hand experience about the program and why it is such a great program to be a part of at Lee Health.